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How Are You Helping to Build the Workplace Critical Skills Pipeline?

When describing what differentiates top talent amongst students and new graduate candidates, we often find ourselves referencing their ‘soft’ or workplace critical skills.  Things like creativity, teamwork, critical thinking, problem solving, and leadership.

As employers, we seemingly all want these skills to be a part of the candidate profile for our new graduate programs, summer internships, or open positions on campus.  And, if the expectation is that students come prepared with these skills when they arrive in the workplace, I wonder how can we as career educators and campus recruiters help students to identify, acquire, and nurture them before they land their first job?

For me, the approach is two-fold:

I think it starts with helping students to become fluent in the art of articulation, reflection, and offering up evidence.

Let’s work an example – communication skills. We know that having a student simply state they are a good communicator is not enough.  Rather, it’s how they demonstrate they are a good communicator through examples or description that sets them apart.

Fellow campus recruiters, I am offering up a challenge to you here.  Let’s commit to trying to better articulate our needs. Continuing with the ‘good communication skills’ example, what if we said something like this in our postings:

‘Persuasive business writing, active listening, comfort delivering critical or difficult messages, and strong presentation skills are essential for successful communication in our organization’.

The more specific or articulate we are, the more a student has got to work with and reflect on.  They can start to assess whether they have demonstrated these skills and attributes in their studies or work to date, come up with evidence to support it, and if a gap exists, have a clearer goal to work towards.  If  Year 1 students knew what you were truly looking for in terms of workplace critical skills when they embarked on their program, think about where they might be by the time they graduate.  Perhaps ‘top talent’ would be more plentiful?

While these notions are by no means new, it stands to reason that by providing students with ample opportunity to reflect on and to talk about their skills in meaningful ways (whether it is a part of their experiential learning, course work, co-op, or even workshops) the more comfortable and confident they will become in talking about their workplace critical skills as potential candidates.

The second piece is all about providing additional opportunities to develop and nurture workplace critical skills while in school.  Case competitions, challenges, portfolios or workplace critical skills passports, skills badging, and experiential learning are all great ways to achieve this.  Think about how you can get more involved in these types of initiatives.  While yes, the time investment does need to be there to make it most effective, you will be doing wonders for your credibility, brand, and building up of the pipeline of the skills you’re ultimately wanting students to have in their toolkit.

Challenge yourself.  In your next round of engaging students – how will you help them to get really good at articulating, reflecting, and evidencing their workplace critical skills?  What opportunities will you provide to develop and nurture them?  Happy skill building!

 


Trevor Buttrum is an award-winning career education and campus recruitment leader with 15+ years of experience in the space.  He is currently the manager of a national program focused on building the talent pipeline for the next generation of the property and casualty insurance workforce.

 

Introducing the 2017 Guide to Canadian Campus Recruitment

The sixth annual TalentEgg National Campus Recruitment Excellence Awards and Conference took place on Thursday, May 18th, 2017, and we are happy to say that it was an egg-cellent day of learning and collaborating on best practices in student and new graduate recruitment. The TalentEgg Awards and Conference is a special day for us, because it marks a moment when we bring together employers, campus recruitment professionals, and career educators for a day to discuss different approaches to supporting youth employment and professional development. We would like to sincerely thank everyone who joined us for the event, and we can’t wait to see you next year!

All Awards and Conference attendees were treated to a free copy of keynote speaker Brian Fetherstonhaugh’s latest book. Additionally, they also got to take home our 2017 Guide to Canadian Campus Recruitment. This valuable resource gives employers and HR professionals crucial insights into recruiting Gen-Y and Gen-Z job candidates, including best practices, tips on how to use social media effectively, and what matters most to students and new graduates when it comes to starting their careers.

If you missed out on the conference, you can still access TalentEgg’s key findings from our Gen-Z research and recruitment insights gained from our work with the Student Judges of the TalentEgg Awards! We’re offering a free digital download of the 2017 Guide to Canadian Campus Recruitment right here on TalentEgg 360.

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How To Build A Campus Recruitment Measurement Tool From Scratch

As speaker Jennie An stated, data isn’t always the most egg-citing topic.

But she certainly managed to spice it up at this year’s TalentEgg Campus Recruitment Excellence Awards & Conference, with an engaging presentation that covered a range of topics – from the 2016 Census, to Justin Trudeau and pandas. However, it was her main story of successfully building a campus recruitment measurement tool from scratch that truly captured our audience’s attention.

So what does it take to create such a resource? Lucky for us, Jennie broke it down into four easy steps.

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Introducing The 2016 TalentEgg Guide To Canadian Campus Recruitment

The 2016 TalentEgg Campus Recruitment Excellence Awards & Conference has come and gone, and we’re incredibly thankful to everyone who chose to spend their time with us.

Not only were our attendees treated to a free copy of keynote speaker Don Tapscott’s latest book, they also got to take home our 2016 Guide to Campus Recruitment. This valuable resource is a recruitment professional’s window into the thoughts of our prestigious student judging panel, who share insights on what students want.

However, if you missed out on the conference, you’re in luck! We’re offering a free digital download right here on TalentEgg 360.

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